Judge Denies Officer Manuel Ramos' Request For Lower Bail; John Barnett, Ramos' Attorney, Calls Kelly Thomas 'Violent Felon'

Thumbnail image for manuel-ramos-fullerton-police-kelly-thomas-200.jpg
Officer Manuel Ramos
At the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana this morning, Fullerton policeman Manuel Ramos wore a yellow jumpsuit and sat behind a metal mesh wall separating him from everyone else in the courtroom -- including Kelly Thomas' relatives and several members of his own family. 

As his attorney, John Barnett, walked up to him, Ramos smiled, and the two spoke for a few minutes. 

Once Judge Erick Larsh entered the chambers, Barnett entered a not guilty plea on Ramos' behalf. Then, Barnett asked the judge to set Ramos' $1 million bail at a "more reasonable" amount.

"I don't believe there's any issue of dangerousness," Barnett said of Ramos, before telling Larsh he didn't think there was any flight risk. He cited Ramos' family's longtime ties in the area and his three young sons as reasons it's unlikely he would flee. "He's served the community," Barnett said. "I think there's no danger to the community by releasing my client."

When asked his thoughts on the bail, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who is currently the lead prosecutor on the case, deferred to Ron Thomas, Kelly's father.

"I am, in fact, afraid for my life if this man gets out," Thomas said, adding that he thinks Ramos does have a high flight risk. "With the police union posting his bail, he has nothing to lose." 

Barnett responded by saying, again, that he didn't think Ramos was dangerous. He did, however, call Kelly Thomas a "violent felon," because of an assault with a deadly weapon charge from the past. Barnett also mentioned that Thomas' mother sought a restraining order against him.  "She needed the police to help," Barnett said. Thomas' family earlier told the Weekly they only filed the restraining order to try to get Kelly mental help. 

Rackauckas said there was no indication that Ramos knew of Thomas' history with law enforcement before he beat him, adding that the incident happened almost two decades ago. 

Judge Larsh denied the request to reduce bail, saying the court thought $1 million was an appropriate amount. Ramos's pre-trial hearing is slated for Nov. 4, which is also when Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, who faces manslaughter charges in the case, has his hearing.

After they left the courtroom, Barnett led a group of Ramos' relatives to the courthouse cafeteria, where he spoke to them for a few minutes before holding a brief press conference. Barnett defended his client's innocence. "My client's reaction was within policy and certainly not a crime." When asked about Ramos telling Thomas that he planned to "f--- him up" with his fists, Barnett said, "That's simply a way of seeking to get Kelly Thomas to do what he was supposed to do, which is comply." 

After Barnett, Rackauckas, too, held a brief press conference. He called Barnett a "good attorney with a lot of talent," but said he was confident in the case, adding that he expects it to go to trial and hopes to have it tried within a year.

Rackauckas also addressed a question regarding Ramos' mental status. He heard from his investigators, he says, that Ramos had been on suicide watch for a couple of days while in custody. When asked about the suicide watch or any potential death threats against his client, Barnett said he wasn't going to comment. 

Ron Thomas said he understands it's Barnett's job to make his son look bad, but added that some of the statements the attorney made in court today were simply not true. Thomas noted that Barnett's comment that the family feared Kelly, for example, wasn't true. "He's probably working for the Fullerton Police Department with all the lies."
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12 comments
Wilsonfreed1
Wilsonfreed1

 "That's simply a way of seeking to get Kelly Thomas to do what he was supposed to do, which is comply." 

-- this is a VERY VERY  frightening statement !!

5 dancing Israelis
5 dancing Israelis

Ramos looks like a typical beaner gangbanger. Mexicanized police in California...what is next, cartel beheadings? Plead guilty, pigs...we have seen the photograph of the victim...You are safer inside than out.

Tvgnet
Tvgnet

charge the 2 cops with muder. Why only the latino cop. I bet they are afarid that if Jay Cicinelli is convicted with murder. The person who shot him will be out free from prison.

PatrickR
PatrickR

John Barnett is about as good of a defense lawyer as you will find in southern California and If my tit were in the ringer, I'd want him working for me.  Frankly, the evidence at first glance looks overwhelming, however this case wouldn't be the first one that was pulled from the fire by a smart lawyer.  This will be a good case for budding law students still in the classroom to watch to see if Barnett can pull a rabbit out of his hat. 

Paul
Paul

I remember the movie Bridge on the River Kwai.  Sessue Hayakawa, an award winning Japanese actor did the honorable thing by taking his life with a samurai sword much like referred to by Culichi.  Honorable thing to do and it will save the police union all that bail money and paying for the defense attorney.  Ramos is still being paid even though charged with a major felony.  Who approved those Fullerton PD rules?Maybe Ramos will rat out all the Fullerton PD. For that he can get a reduced sentence!

Anon
Anon

His lawyer sounds like a fucking idiot.

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

please withdraw the suicide watch from officer ramos. let him do the honorable thing which is to take his own life. i have a samurai sword i bought from the pawn stars vatos that he can borrow. he can try and be the next miyamoto musashi.i am sure officer pendejo ramos is man enough to admit what he did was wrong and, being a god-fearing man that he will likely claim to be, will agree that it is an eye-for-an-eye situation, right ramos? look at it this way: you will save your familia tax dollars from the incarceration that awaits you.  

i will be happy to deliver the sword to him.

gracias.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Why must attorneys be such scum? 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I think they take a class on it... 

But alas the law affords everyone a competent defense and if the attorney doesnt appear to be acting in the best interest of his client he can be disciplined or disbarred. 

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